Interview: Ho99o9

“This shit is far out, far left corner—stuff that nobody wants to fucking touch...”

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Turn the Devil’s digits upside down, multiply them by two eccentric New Jersey boys and you get Ho99o9. These punk-meets-rap showmen, also known as Horror Death Kult, get their “eternal boner” from screaming in your face and destroying the stage, sweaty and naked. Not surprisingly, these antics have paid off with a cult following. It’s anything goes for these guys, who channel classic punk, thrash, hardcore, shock rock and hip hop through a (dirty Jerz) filter. Glamcult met them in Amsterdam, hot and sticky after their Red Light Radio session with Converse. “This shit is far out, far left corner—stuff that nobody wants to fucking touch…”

How did the two of you meet?

theOGM: Through mutual friends. He [Eaddy] went to high school with some homies that I later started hanging out with; they became some of my best friends back in New Jersey. We just all happened to link up. We’d go out to parties in the city—we got close. We’ve known each other for a good eight years now.

And then how did Ho99o9 come about?

theOGM: It came about randomly. It was crazy, the evolution of it. We never made music together before. I rapped, but it was a different style, a different approach, and I was a lot shyer then, too. Eaddy is a dope-ass illustrator, so most of the artwork we do (the T-shirts—anything that you see) he does most of it, even our posters. We were going to shows, feeling inspired by punk, rap and art shows. Every time we went to New York, we would be bumping out shit in the car on the way. One day in the car, I was like, “Yo! I’ve got this idea for a project.” It started from that. We thought about jumping straight on a hook. Wrote a little chorus to see what it sounded like—it was some dope shit! So we wrote a couple more verses—man—it just happened.

Eaddy: We dibbled and dabbled, and tried some shit basically. Our confidence built up, we found faith in ourselves. It just came out. It takes confidence.

Do you feel like you’re more a live act than a studio act?

theOGM: We are both. We’re not doing what the normal crowd in music is doing, on the radio or in videos. That’s not this shit. This shit is far out, far left corner—that stuff that nobody wants to fucking touch. I guess nobody’s got balls enough to do what we’re doing.

So do you listen to the radio and “Top 40” kind of music?

theOGM: Well yeah, you can’t get away from that shit. It’s everywhere. Though we’re not saying Top 40 is whack! We’re just saying that’s not where we are. There’s a formula for a Top 40 track, and how you get pop music popular. We don’t go by that formula. We just create music as we feel it. We don’t care about that shit; we just want to have fun.

You’re originally from New Jersey but based in LA now. What’s the music scene like there?

theOGM: We go to all types of shows in LA. Whether it’s rap shows, punk shows, DJ sets. There’s a punk scene in LA, sure—a lot of really dope shit. There are Latino punks in the neighbourhood of Downtown and East LA. It’s pretty gnarly! Just like New York, all the music comes there.

You were once quoted saying that you’re out to “make people feel uncomfortable” with your music…

theOGM: Y’all got to. That’s our approach. Though it depends what kind of crowd it is. Some crowds might feel uncomfortable if they’ve not been exposed to that sort of expression. We’re not aiming to make people uneasy. We’re just aiming to express ourselves. Fully going hard, giving it our all.

Eaddy: We just want to have fun, to be honest. It’s meant to be fun. Jump around, lose your mind—don’t get too comfortable in your comfort zone.

Could you tell us about the project you did with the MOCA? How did you hook up with such an important institution?

Eaddy: As we often release zines and photo books, I came up with a photo gallery concept. I was working on this “blue” project (blue is my favourite colour). We got the offer because we played a show at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles for a book fair the year before, and they were really into our performance. They came up with a really dope conceptual thing. It was a ten-minute set and it worked perfectly. Coming from such a leftfield place, it was amazing to perform somewhere like a museum. We actually got people to mosh at a museum! 

Is your visual identity something that’s important, as many people seem to think?

theOGM: This is us, we don’t know how to do it any other way. Eaddy’s always been drawing. The way we dress, it’s always been this way. We’ve never cared what people say, no matter how many fucking dirty looks we get. We get dirty looks all the time; we’re from New Jersey—where motherfuckers don’t wear tight jeans, nail polish or wigs.

Eaddy: They will either call you gay or weird, it’s always those two things. It’s like: “No, actually. I’m just comfortable with who I am. I can do whatever the fuck I want to do. You’re laughing at me for being me. We’re laughing at you because you look like the rest of these motherfuckers.”

How would you describe your vision or aim, if you have one?

theOGM: We’re in this universe, concentrating on making sounds that people don’t usually hear every day. We’re combining a bunch of genres and subcultures that a lot of people are into—bringing a new sound to the table. We’re just destroying everything and anybody in our way. Just aiming for the top!

Eaddy: Firstly we want to evolve as people, that’s our everyday thing. We want to evolve as artists, too. We live in the now. I don’t know what the future is, I can’t see it, and I don’t know what it holds. I know that right now, we’re off our heads. We’re doing what we’re doing right now—and that’s it.

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By Kelsey Lee Jones and Leendert Sonnevelt

Photography: Jasper Rens van Es—House of Orange

www.ho99o9.com

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